Detroit Red Wings: Four More For the Rafters in Motown

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 13: Center Sergei Fedorov #91 of the Detroit Red Wings skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes in game five of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 13, 2002 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Wings won the game 3-1 and the series 4-1. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images/NHLI)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 13: Center Sergei Fedorov #91 of the Detroit Red Wings skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes in game five of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 13, 2002 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Wings won the game 3-1 and the series 4-1. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images/NHLI) /
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(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Chris Osgood has never gotten the credit he deserves across the league.  The Detroit Red Wings only have one goaltenders jersey retired and that, of course, belongs to the great Terry Sawchuk.

Let’s start off by stating; It will likely NEVER happen, but if it did occur one day it wouldn’t be the worst idea, to have number 30 retired.

Chris Osgood to some peoples’ surprise faced the most shots in Detroit Red Wings history.  Nearly 3000 more than Sawchuk.  Osgood finished second with 317 wins in a Red Wings jersey.  33 behind Sawchuk.  Terry Sawchuk lost 245 games as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.  Osgood only lost 149 times.

Chris Osgood’s career Red Wings save % was .905.  Sawchuk’s totaled .904%.  Understanding it is a different era of hockey, the numbers may surprise some folks.  Chris Osgood remains second in Detroit Red Wings history with 39 shutouts, well behind Sawchuk’s (85).

Terry Sawchuk had to make saves with his chin, imagine someone taking a slap shot, and you are not wearing a mask to protect yourself.  There is entirely no doubt that Terry Sawchuk is the best goaltender in Detroit Red Wings history. Terry Sawchuk is one of the best goaltenders in the history of the NHL.

The case being built is that Chris Osgood was the second best RED WINGS goalie of all-time.  Chris Osgood was robbed of a Vezina Trophy early on in his career which is of course awarded to the best goalie in the league.  Recording a league-leading 39 wins and having a better save% and goals against average than the winner of the award Washington Capitals’ Jim Carey.

Chris Osgood would win the William M. Jennings Trophy twice in his career.  The “Jennings” trophy is awarded to the goaltender who plays a minimum of 25 games for the team who allows the fewest goals against during the regular season.

Chris Osgood won the Stanley Cup twice as a starter and once as a back-up to veteran Mike Vernon.  The first championship, Ozzie would sit and watch from the bench.  The 97-98 season the net would become his.  In 98′ Osgood posted substantial playoff numbers.  A record of 16-6, .918 Save percentage and 2.12 goals against average.

Chris Osgood was spectacular for the Detroit Red Wings 2007-08 Stanley Cup championship.  Osgood could have easily been selected as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner if Henrik Zetterberg hadn’t been appointed.

Osgood went 14-4 during the playoff run recording an outstanding 1.55 goals against average to go with a .930 save percentage.  The following season the Detroit Red Wings would lose in the Cup finals during the rematch with the Pittsburg Penguins.  Osgood to his credit posted impressive numbers again.  A 15-8 record, 2.01 GAA, and .926 save %.

The knock around the league has always been; Osgood was the beneficiary of the team in front of him.  Osgood recorded winning records for the New York Islanders and St.Louis Blues later in his career before his reunion with the Detroit Red Wings.

Chris Osgood has north of 400 career wins but has yet to hear his name called into the Hall of Fame.  I’m not confident he ever will.  That would leave Chris Osgood the only player on this list that won’t finish as a Hall of Fame player.

In the eyes of the majority of Detroit Red Wings fans, Chis Osgood is a Hall of Fame goaltender.  He was anything but flashy in goal.  He had issues on a couple of different occasions through his career.  He was beaten multiple times with a slap shot from the center ice area.

Chris Osgood did score an empty net goal in 1996 while he was a member of the Detroit Red Wings against the Hartford Whalers.

Next. Ten of Our Favorite Detroit Red Wings Nicknames. dark

I don’t expect Chris Osgood’s number 30 will ever indeed be recognized high above the ice in Motown, but it’s a jersey many fans would love to see dangling alongside some of the Detroit Red Wings all-time greats.